Printing Executive, and LGBT Philanthropist Martin Gapshis Dies

Martin Gapshis ,
a Chicago business owner and philanthropist who was as comfortable in a black tie as he was in gardening shoes, died of a heart attack on Monday. He was 63.

  In charity circles, Mr. Gapshis was known as much for the work he did behind the scenes as he was for donating to causes. His great attention to detail in producing elegant invitations to galas and balls drew many to admire him and his work. He was also a founding board member for the Center on Halsted.

In 1995, the Hearts Foundation Inc. honored him for his philanthropic work, and Mr. Daley proclaimed a Martin Gapshis Day. Earlier this year, the Center on Halsted honored him with the Human First award for his work in the gay and lesbian community. Mr. Gapshis was a co-chair for the $20-million capital campaign to build the center.

Mayor Daley released the following statement, “As Mayor and on behalf of the City of Chicago, I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Martin Gapshis. He was my friend and a friend to all of Chicago.
I am especially proud of the legacy Martin leaves this city in the Center on Halsted, the most comprehensive lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community center in the nation.
Martin possessed a passion for the arts, politics, and community involvement. He served both the city and its LGBT communities throughout most of his adult life, demonstrating a quiet commitment to improving the lives of others. For his many contributions and accomplishments, Martin was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2007.
In his understated way, Martin always worked hard to make a difference, demonstrating his belief in the basic human rights that must be secured for all. He was a leader and role model for LGBT communities, not only for all his contributions and accomplishments, but for his ever-present humility and the depth of his kind and generous spirit.”

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